THE EMPEROR STRIKES BACK
The first issue for the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary was a set depicting the Emperor Francis Joseph, issued from 1 June 1867 onwards. The 5k is a very common stamp and up til now I just had the one copy in my album. But now that I'm concentrating more on my European Classics, I took out my Austria catalogue and found that there are two main types and three subtypes! Things are never what they seem, eh!?

This here is main type I.

It is a very coarse printing. Note the thick hair and whiskers, and the heavy eyebrow. This printing is from the 1867 set, which was used in both Austria and Hungary. There are two subtypes (A & B) but I haven't got copies to show the difference so that will have to wait til a later date.

And this here is main type II.

This is a fine printing. Note that hair, whiskers and eyebrow are so much lighter! This is a copy from the 1874 set, which was used in Austria only. Again, two sybtypes exist (B & C) and on top of that there are a number of perf variations. This copy here is perf 9.5.

Isn't it great that such a common stamp will keep you busy for a whole night?! And I haven't even mentioned the fact that the sheets were watermarked "BRIEF-MARKEN" in double-lined capitals. Copies with part of that watermark come definitely at a premium!

:-)
Adrian

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